Google Nexus 8 prototype spotted as ready for testing – Launch imminent?

5 July 2014, 7:51 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

A purported Nexus 8 prototype has apparently landed in India for testing purposes, which could mean it could be ready to launch soon.

Rumors of a Nexus 8 tablet have been making rounds for quite some time, and leaks started to intensify as of late. It recently came to light that HTC was working on a Nexus tablet for Google, and this slate was codenamed "Volantis."

A number of leaks have tried to paint a picture of what to expect in terms of specifications, suggesting that the next Nexus tablet from HTC may come with premium features on board.

Amid a slew of leaks and lots of speculation, a prototype of the purported Nexus 8 has now landed in India for testing purposes. An entry on Indian import-export tracking site Zauba lists a Nexus 8 prototype tablet, with the mention that it's similar to the Nexus 7, as arriving from the U.S. Two units apparently made their way to the country, and the "prototype" mention makes sense because most companies typically test a device using a prototype before releasing it commercially.

The listing doesn't give any other details, revealing nothing in terms of specs, expected launch, or the manufacturing partner Google has chosen to make its next Nexus tablet.

Based on rumors so far, the Nexus 8 (or Nexus 9) will come from HTC and sport an 8.9-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The tablet is expected to pack a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor under the hood, coupled with at least 2GB of RAM. A recent rumor claimed that it could have a whopping 5GB of RAM, but nothing is final just yet. Other specs could include an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 3-megapixel front shooter, and 16GB, 32GB, and 32GB internal storage configurations. The slate is further rumored to come with the much-touted BoomSound audio technology found in HTC's latest flagships, and should come with the very latest version of Android on board, perhaps even serving as a launch vehicle for Android 5.0.

Some rumors also mentioned pricing details for the Nexus 8, claiming that the 16GB model would cost $399, while the 32GB version would go up to $499. No pricing leaked for the purported 64GB model.

It's worth pointing out that nothing is official at this point, as all of the above-mentioned information is based solely on leaks, rumors, and speculation. As always in such cases, it is highly advisable to take everything with a grain of salt for now.

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